I’ve been playing with the idea of the Bee as symbol for the Power Center, or solar plexus chakra, and have been wanting to get it down as a painting. Today seemed like the day to do it.
So I grabbed a little watercolor board and got to work. (This painting is quite small – just 4″x4″. It seemed about right for a bee.)
The Power Center grooves on yellow and gold – fitting, because gold also represents money, power in its abstract. This is probably why so many spiritually conscious people have issues with their Power Center. It’s easy to look at the way power is abused in the world and not want a thing to do with it.
But really, that’s kind of a backwards way to look at it. Abuse of power – whether you are the abuser or the abused – is simply a symptom of imbalance of personal power. NOT claiming your true inner power will not fix it.
Of course, money is optional where true power is concerned. It’s just one way in which power expresses itself. It also happens to be extremely convenient, so why not be open to manifesting it when appropriate? Being well funded can certainly help you live your dreams.
Which, if your Power Center is well-balanced, shouldn’t lead to abuse. And, if your heart is in the right place, it will likely bring good fortune to others as well.
Speaking of hearts…
Somewhere in the middle of painting this piece I began to feel something else was needed. The bee was taking form nicely atop the cells of golden honeycomb, but it just seemed…ungrounded. It seemed like it needed something to tie it together.
Perhaps an oval shape framing the bee? No, that wasn’t quite it. Then I held my hands in a heart shape over the bee. Ahhh. That felt right. And a bit of pinky purple was just right to balance out all that yellow.
Once the heart was in place the meaning was clear…
I was dabbling about in the kitchen tonight, when I suddenly thought of a friend. The word “sing” came to me, as it did when we first met two weeks ago. Then, a few moments later, the impression of a song bird.
Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her — and sings — knowing she hath wings.
I got the feeling that the ‘singing’ is metaphorical – whatever makes your heart sing, do it and don’t hold back, even if it seems foolish or impossible. (Although if you want to sing while doing it, so much the better!)
This time of year some of the birds are already starting to stake out their territories in the woods – and singing to attract a mate.
If this resonates with you at any level, think about what you would like to manifest in your life…
…and sing your heart out. If your wings aren’t fully developed yet, your song will help them grow!
A magical thing happened in the studio yesterday. And it had nothing to do with paint.
I was just wetting the crease of a folded piece of watercolor paper in preparation for tearing it in half, when I glanced down and saw something crawling across the studio floor. At first I thought it was a humongous spider, but on closer inspection, it turned out to be…
A honeybee, I think. Of all the odd things to show up in January, in the middle of a big old building in the U.P. of Michgan.
I stooped down and set my finger down in front of her. She climbed on readily.
Up close, I could see each joint of her six legs, shiny black like her oval eyes. Two sets of transparent wings jutted sleekly from her fuzzy thorax. Her segmented abdomen throbbed rhythmically as she paused, tasting my skin, then ceased as she continued her slow march along my finger. She looked weary, emaciated.
I suddenly needed reassurance that I could get her off if need be, so I placed the bristle end of my Chinese brush in her path. It was still wet. I thought she might not like that, but she climbed on obligingly. Then, delicately, she lowered her proboscis to the wet bristles and began to drink.
Who knows how long it had been since she had had water? She drank and drank, and I began to wonder if she might be hungry, too. I carried her slowly to the kitchen, fetched a chopstick from the drawer and extracted a drop of honey from the jar on the shelf. Yes, she was hungry. She ate purposefully.
While she ate and drank, I tried to capture her image. My phone camera rebelled against focusing on such a small object, but alas, the other camera’s battery was dead. I shifted the brush to my left hand and drew a series of quick sketches from multiple angles.
As I drew, I realized that this bee brought the answer to a question I had recently sent out to the universe. In fact, she was the answer!
I am working on the idea of creating a series of seven power animal paintings, one for each of the seven major chakras, or body/mind energy centers. The animals for some of the chakras came to me right away. Others are taking their sweet time to show themselves. Not surprisingly, I’d been struggling with finding an animal to represent the third chakra, the Power Center. This is an area I’ve definitely had issues with for a long time – lifetimes – and which I’ve recently started working on unblocking. In fact, that very morning I had spent 40 minutes in a power center-clearing exercise before getting to work…
As I drew my little friend, I suddenly realized – of course! – that the bee’s yellow color, her confidence and her disciplined devotion to purpose are all perfectly suited to represent 3rd chakra energy. She had come to volunteer as the Power Center animal for my painting. 🙂
When the bee had had her fill she retreated to the end of the bristles and washed her face and legs. Wanting to get back to my task, I set her, brush and all, amongst the leaves of my plant.
A single bee in the middle of winter is not likely to live long. I figured she would probably never fly again, but she might enjoy feeling living leaves under her little feet.
I finished halving the sheet, but instead of starting the painting I’m planning to use it for, I was drawn again to check on the bee. I watched her struggle up a slippery leaf. She slipped back, regained her footing, then slipped again, tumbling to the windowsill below.
Here’s my latest! (If you’d like to know its messages as I received them, see below.)
The Buffalo (actually the American Bison) is a sacred symbol amongst Native Americans. I don’t pretend to know much about Native American spirituality, but I can certainly see why the Buffalo is considered sacred in this tradition. It has incredible strength, solidity, and presence. Here are some of the qualities associated with this majestic beast:
(If you are of Native ancestry and/or familiar with this tradition please feel free to add to or correct this list.)
This Buffalo confronts us head-on. It doesn’t seem aggressive, but you can’t ignore its assertive presence. Perhaps it is challenging us to face our fears and live up to our dreams. This is primarily a Yellow buffalo, with hints of Red. Yellow brings to mind the 3rd chakra, or Power Center, and Red is the color of the 1st, or Root chakra. These are both warm colors, contrasting sharply with the wintery landscape. This creature is grounded, powerful, and very much alive.
Although it is still at the moment, the Buffalo’s Breath is visible, jetting forcefully from its nostrils. Breath represents Life and Spirit. It evokes all 4 elements: it is made up of water and air, emanates from the physical body (earth), and contains the heat (fire) that living things generate and carry within them. The breath coming out could represent creative energy, or one’s life force in action.
This Buffalo’s environment is significant. You can see the roundness of the earth in the exaggerated horizon. In fact, the earth seems rather small compared to the size of the animal. To me this is an indication of how significant one’s presence and actions on the earth really are. (You are more powerful than you know!) It is winter, which is a time of rest between cycles. A large animal like the buffalo must eat a lot; because food is scarce in winter it must rely on fat stores from summer to carry it through. Therefore it must trust that when the snows come and the earth chills and darkens, this is a temporary condition and a part of the natural cycle. The Buffalo knows that Spring will come again, and does not panic!
A row of Trees rings the horizon. Trees connect heaven and earth, and are highly spiritual beings. These trees are bare and dormant, but the ghostly flower pattern showing in the snow indicates that under the frigid ice life stirs, ready to spring forth in abundance with the first warm breaths of Spring.
This pending event is hinted at by the wintery Sun in the painting. It struggles to break through the clouds with a cold, watery light, but as the days grow longer it will gain in strength and warmth, providing the energy to nourish all life on Earth through another yearly cycle.
Is this Sun rising or setting? It could be either, representing either new beginnings or the end of a phase or cycle. (Remember, though, that in every ending lies the seed of a new beginning.) The lighting and shadows reveal no set direction, allowing for whatever interpretation feels right at the moment. The buffalo, too, sometimes appears red, sometimes yellow. Either way, it indicates a period of transition, or a pause between periods of growth – underscoring the theme of winter. If you would like to meditate on this image to help you through a transitional period, you might want to imagine it as a setting sun at first, and change to a rising sun as you begin to feel your energies rise again.
Finally, a mob of seven Crows accompanies this Bison. The number Seven is, of course, regarded as having great significance in any number of traditions. It’s frequently associated with magic and spiritual awareness, along with the ability to manifest results in our lives. (Seven black birds appear in another painting of mine as well, an art reading for the daughter of a friend. You can view and read about it cheap sildenafil citrate canada.)
Many traditions associate Crows with magic, sometimes black magic. While Crows are certainly Black, I don’t feel them to be a bad omen. Rather, their color signifies a deeply Feminine energy and access to the unseen spiritual world. Crows have wonderful, strong (some say harsh, but I think they’re beautiful!) voices that carry a long way, and they are great at warning each other of approaching danger. They are a reminder to listen to and heed the warnings of one’s intuition.
Crows are, in many traditions, a Trickster animal. They are also opportunists, and great at not just surviving but adapting and thriving – which is why you are just as likely to meet up with a Crow in the city as in deep wilderness. These particular crows appear a little impish, irreverently perching on and around the majestic Buffalo. They tell us it’s ok to have fun and be bold when pursuing our dreams and goals.
The fun thing about symbols is that they mean different things to different people. I’m always interested to hear what other people take away from the images I create. What does this painting say to you?